draw a bead on (someone or something)

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draw a bead on (someone or something)

1. To aim at someone or something with the sights on a firearm. I managed to draw a bead on the enemy sniper, but had to wait until I received the order to fire.
2. By extension, to focus one's attention on someone or something so as to deal with or attack him, her, or it. The candidate drew a bead on his opponent's poor political record in the UN during the debate. The president has pledged to draw a bead on the growing problem of adolescent obesity.
3. To thoroughly understand, appreciate, or comprehend someone or something. The team just has to draw a bead on the severity of the cyber attack before we can implement any meaningful fixes. I couldn't get my head around him at first, but I'm finally starting to draw a bead on my sister's boyfriend.
See also: bead, draw, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

draw a bead on someone or something

 and get a bead on someone or something 
1. . Lit. to locate someone or something in the sights of a gun. Fred drew a bead on the target and pulled the trigger. The hunter drew a bead on the deer.
2. Fig. to prepare to deal with or obtain someone or something. As soon as I get a bead on how widespread the problem really is, I will set up a meeting about it.
See also: bead, draw, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

draw a bead on

Take careful aim, as in The debater drew a bead on his opponent. This term, dating from about 1830, alludes to the bead on a revolver or rifle, that is, a small knob in the foresight. [c. 1930]
See also: bead, draw, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

draw a bead on someone/something


take a bead on someone/something

If you draw a bead on a target, you aim your weapon at it. He had entered my office with a loaded gun and had drawn a bead on my heart. The small pale eyes squeezed shut as if he were taking a bead on her. Note: The bead is the small marker on top of the end of the barrel on some guns, which is used to aim at the target.
See also: bead, draw, on, someone, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

draw (or get) a bead on

take aim at with a gun. chiefly North American
1994 Ontario Out of Doors Few moose will pose majestically right at the water's edge while you draw a bead on them.
See also: bead, draw, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

draw a bead on (someone), to

To take careful verbal aim at a person. An Americanism dating from about 1830, the term comes from aiming a revolver or rifle, on which the “bead” was a small knob on the foresight. It was being used figuratively by about 1930.
See also: bead, draw, on, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The palce offers luxury wedding possibilities and proved to be a success for all brides and grooms.
This came Wednesday when the Vice-President met in the Republican Palce, Director-General of Al-Shaeed Organization, Mohamed Ahmed Haj Majid who said in press statements after the meeting that he briefed the Vice-President on activities of the celebration which was launched since beginning of this year which included providing houses, productive projects, training and academic sessions for martyrs families at federal state levels.
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The Shooting Star Chase Ball takes palce at the Dorchester.
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The meeting at Sakhir Palce was attended by BDF Commander-in-Chief Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and Special Royal Guard Force Commander Major Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The observers will prepare a report on the snap election set to take palce on Sunday.
The draw is scheduled to take palce in January next year and will icnlude 50 prizes of GBP10,000, 150 of GBP1,000 and 1,000 of GBP100.
Given that the accident has taking palce on the British terrority and in accordance with the regulations of the office, the Director General of the Saudi Office of Aviation Investigation has appointed Captin Ibrahim bin Salman Al-Kishi as an accredited representative for the office, to work with the British investigation team affiliated to the AAIB, to provide it with necessary backup and information for the invesitgation procedures, to identify the reasons that led to the accident.
However, Birkenhead will be going all out to seal their palce in National Three North as their final game as a tricky meeting with Kendal, who are currently third in the table.
Quiz nights take palce regularly at the Milnsbridge church and entry is PS2.50 and teams can take part in the event run by Clr Iredale and the vicar.
The Palce boss said: "Yannick has everything in his locker."
The bus was travelling through Egypt's Sinai region near the Israeli border, with the attack tacking palce as it arrived for a drop off at the Hilton Taba Resort, reports Al Jazeera .